The most recent episode of Star Trek: Discovery, “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry” was a fascinating exploration of Star Trek’s themes, gave us lots more information about the Discovery’s spore drive, and featured a reappearance and continuation of the story of the Klingons in the wake of the death of T’Kuvma.

And as always, there were plenty of connections to the broader Star Trek canon. Let’s explore them!

1. Matter Synthesis Complete

The episode begins with a great shot of a close up shot of the matter synthesis device in Burnham’s quarters as it is replicating a Starfleet uniform.

The device is likely a precursor to the replicator seen in later incarnations of the series, capable of replicating any kind of matter.

2. Battle Simulation

When First Officer Saru and Burnham exit the turbolift, they find the captain and bridge crew engaged in a battle simulation with two Klingon birds of prey.

Battle simulations have appeared before in Star Trek multiple times – the Discovery’s bridge crew performed only slightly better than Tuvok’s trainees in the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Learning Curve!”

3. Birds of Prey

The Klingon ships attacking the Discovery during its battle simulation are identified as Klingon birds of prey, which are equipped with wings in the same swept-down position as the most common iteration of the bird of prey seen in earlier Star Trek shows.

4. Corvan II

The Corvan star system, which appears on the Star Trek: Star Charts as near the Federation/Klingon border is home to the Corvan gilvo, which by the 24th century has become an endangered species.

The creature appears in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “New Ground.” Perhaps the reason the Corvan gilvo is endangered is related to the dilithium mining on the planet, or perhaps a consequence of the Klingon bombardment?

5. Faces of the Federation

The logo of the United Federation of Planets, which appears before the distress signal from Corvan II starts (left, above), is the same logo as that which appears on the front cover of Franz Joseph’s 1975 Star Trek: Star Fleet Technical Manual (right) – with male and female faces in profile.

6. Transporters in Crimson

While Federation transporter beams operate in a golden-white hue during the 22nd Century, Klingon transporters have been colored red for decades of Trek production, dating back to Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

In “The Butcher’s Knife…,” both Kol and L’Rell beam across the stars on bright red transporter beams in keeping with the Empire’s technological traditions.

7. Discovery Dishware

When Captain Lorca receives a transmission from Admiral Cornwell, he is eating. The plate has the name “USS Discovery” embossed around the side, echoing back to Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country where both the USS Enterprise and the USS Excelsior have dinnerware embossed with the names of their starships.

8. Tellarite Features

Dr. Culber chastises Lt. Stamets for having an agitated conversation with Captain Lorca while he is trying to fix his broken nose, and tells Stamets that he if he does not hold still his nose will end up looking like a Tellarite.

Tellarites are one of the Federation’s founding races, and have very distinctive noses!

9. Two Truths and a Trek

The old Star Trek tradition of characters rattling off lists of people, historical events, or places that include two grounded in reality and one fictional recurs in this episode.

Captain Lorca asks Lt. Stamets if he wants to be remembered in the same breath as the Wright Brothers, Elon Musk, and Zefram Cochrane, the first call out to the inventor of warp drive thus far on Discovery.

10. A Feast Fit for a Klingon

When Voq and L’Rell return to the sarcophagus ship with the dilithium reaction chamber from the USS Shenzhou, they find that Kol has won the loyalty of the rest of the crew by providing them with food and supplies that they desperately need.

The feast that Kol lays on for the crew is reminiscent of Klingon feasts from episodes past, including “A Matter of Honor.” We think we spot pipius claw on the menu, plus a barrel of bloodwine to go with the meal.

11. Holographic Farewell

In this episode we learn that Captain Georgiou recorded a holographic last will and testament for Burnham, designed to be delivered in the event of her death.

The message, which Burnham views at the end of the episode, hearkens back to other Star Trek characters, such as Tasha Yar, who did the same. The crew of the Enterprise-D viewed Yar’s holographic last will and testament after her death in the episode “Skin of Evil.”

We can’t wait to see what else Star Trek: Discovery‘s writers bring to the table in this weekend’s new episode, “Choose Your Pain.” Keep your eyes peeled for more canon connections in the future!

  • Thanks for noticing all these details and calling them out for us!

  • Chris Clark

    The Birds of Prey ships look like StarGate Death Gliders….
    https://www.sideshowtoy.com/mas_assets/jpg/900756_press01-001.jpg

    • Sort of. I’d like to see a better image of the Birds of Prey. The scales definitely different!

      • Starshipdown

        It may be a lack of the command boom that makes these BoPs look much smaller, maybe about 30-50 meters. Given that, this type may serve the same function as the ones seen in Kelvin Timeline, a fast attack patrol craft.

    • CAPTAIN D-MAN

      “Death Gliders” is a nice name for a band.

    • A_Warrior_of_Marley

      The one ship design that is a bit of a disappointment to me. I was hoping that when we see them from the front, the DSC BoPs would have a boom and head like the D-7s and original BoPs.

      • Perplexum

        All those klingon ships look weird and uncharacteristic, except maybe Kol’s ship.

      • Snap

        Well, there is almost nothing recognizably “Klingon” from the Discovery designs as not only don’t the ships look Klingon but the “bat’leth” is most definitely an entirely different weapon. The only tangible element which is distinctly Klingon is the insignia.

        • Quonk

          arguably the sarcophagus ship also follows the characteristic design with a head section at the bow, a neck section, wing-like struts and nacelles… only its proportions are entirely different, with its huuuge nacelles, hammerhead-style bow and every element being rounded instead of angular.

          • A_Warrior_of_Marley

            It’s an ancient ship, possibly up to 2000 years old based on Saru’s analysis of the corpses on the hull. The top view and proportions of the ship remind me very much of the old Star Fleet Battles tug:

            http://www.starfleetgames.com/minis/KLN/Klingon%20T1.gif

      • Quonk

        actually, I thought their front section – what little we’ve seen of it, because they were mostly shown from the backside – looked oddly like that of a Romulan D’deridex-class warbird. I’m fairly sure in the last episode they were actually shown to have the familiar wings-neck/boom-head/command section configuration only that the neck was rather short and seemed to fair into the wings – just like that of the D’deridex warbid.

    • AmiRami

      Agreed. But then again I always kinda thought that the death gliders resembled birds of prey which of course did come first.

      • Starshipdown

        Actually, the wing shape looks very much like the twin hull halves of a Romulan D’Deridex warbird minus the booms and beak-shaped primary hull.

        • AmiRami

          this is true too

    • GIBBS v2

      I love the show but I think this every time see them!!

  • Matthew Burns

    The battle simulation was probably my favourite scene in the episode. A nice modern throwback to TWOK. Even better than the Kirk scene in Star Trek 2009.

    • AmiRami

      I will say that Discovery is living up to the promise of looking like a major motion picture despite being a “TV” series.

      • Matthew Burns

        It helps that the season has 15 episodes, instead of 26, in terms of the budget allotted per episode, too.

        • AmiRami

          That, and also Discovery earns more money than previous trek because it has ads and is a paid for TV show which puts it much more inlign with an HBO show like Game of Thrones in terms of production value.

    • Brian_Brodrick

      I thought the way it was done was also a throw back to the VOY episode “Learning Curve” where a similar combat simulation is set up so that Tuvok can train several Maquis crewmembers. The only difference being is that the sim is set entirely in a holodeck rather than drilling using the whole ship.

  • Fiery Little One

    I’d say I caught half of those.

  • AmiRami

    Elon Musk should feel honored! Now give me my true self driving car already!!!

  • Cully Hamner

    But would a Klingon ship during the era of “The Cage” even be called a “Bird Of Prey?” Romulan ships were called that, and in season three of TOS, they established that the Kilingons and the Romulans had only just had some sort of technology exchange. But we didn’t see a “Klingon Bird Of Prey” until Star Trek III: The Search For Spock.

    For a canon connection, it’s pretty tenuous.

    • Snap

      It does sound more Romulan than Klingon, however, I believe they did include the term “Bird of Prey” for a Klingon ship during Enterprise. It’s also interesting that the Klingon Bird of Prey introduced in Star Trek III was supposed to be a stolen Romulan ship, elements of which are still present on the model with the feather pattern on portions of the hull.

      • Cully Hamner

        “…I believe they did include the term ‘Bird of Prey’ for a Klingon ship during Enterprise.”

        Yeah, and in the Abrams Trek, as well– it bothered me then, too.

        “…the Klingon Bird of Prey introduced in Star Trek III was supposed to be a stolen Romulan ship…”

        Really? Hadn’t heard that before. I just assumed it was because of the technology exchange mentioned in “The Enterprise Incident.”

        To me, all canon should emanate from TOS, and if there’s a change or a revelation, there better be a really solid justification for it. Maybe DSC will do that– the jury’s out.

        • Starshipdown

          “To me, all canon should emanate from TOS, and if there’s a change or a revelation, there better be a really solid justification for it. Maybe DSC will do that– the jury’s out.”

          Given that it’s been said by Paula Block that Roddenberry felt that newer Trek overwrote TOS when it came to one being in contradiction with the other, it won’t follow.

          • Snap

            Though what people need to consider with such a statement, is at the time of Roddenberry’s death, there was only TOS/TAS, TNG and six Trek movies, and Roddenberry wasn’t particularly happy with all of new (at the time) Trek.

          • Nowhereman10

            “I would hope there are bright young people, growing up all the time, who will bring to it levels and areas that were beyond me, and I don’t feel jealous about that at all […] It’ll go on, without any of us, and get better and better and better, because that’s the . . . that really is the human condition. It’s to improve and improve.”

            -Gene Roddenberry 1988

            “There’s a good chance that when I’m gone, others will come along and do so well that people will say, “Oh, that Roddenberry. He was never this good.” But I will be pleased with that statement.”
            -Gene Roddenberry 1990

            Roddenberry was quite content with there being new Star Trek and him not having anything to do with it and it would be “real Star Trek”.

          • Starshipdown

            “Roddenberry was quite content with there being new Star Trek and him not having anything to do with it and it would be “real Star Trek”.”

            This.

          • AmiRami

            But its not true. Wrath of Khan was famously ripped away from Roddenberry when The Motion Picture went specatularly over budget and failed to perform at the level of Star Wars which Paramount/Viacom was hoping for.

            Roddenberry famously HATED Wrath of Khan. He hated Savvik. He hated the militarization of Star Fleet.

            Its only because of the success of Star Trek IV that he was given a new series. and even then Trek was much more in the control of Rick Berman than it was Roddenberry.

          • Snap

            I never said he wasn’t content with there being new Star Trek, just that he wasn’t happy with all of the Trek others had produced during his lifetime. What some people need to realize is when they say “Roddenberry wanted this” pr “Rpddenberry wanted that” they have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about unless they actually are Roddenberry himself.

            I also never said Trek produced without Roddenberry’s involvement wasn’t “real” Star Trek. Of course it is, but whether something is “good” Star Trek is subjective. I’m sure you will find plenty who hate Voyager and just a many who love it and feel it is the best of the series. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to something like that.

          • Nowhereman10

            The point being made, along with everything else, is that Roddenberry had not only excepted that Star Trek was going to be made by others and that it would be real, canon Trek, but that Roddenberry was more of the mind that as time went on and TV production improved technically, would supersede the look and some of the concepts of the older Trek canonically.

          • Snap

            I think you may be a bit too rigid in interpretation, considering it’s no longer just a Star Trek universe, but a “multiverse.” While Discovery won’t “supercede” TOS, it isn’t invalid either. There’s enough Trek out there for people to have the version they want, it’s just there are those who can’t accept that some may prefer the TOS through Voyager canon instead of what Discovery may offer. But that doesn’t mean Discovery isn’t equally as valid.

            Case in point, given that we have not only seen canonical evidence that two versions of Klingons can exist simultaneously, we have also seen the Xindi which consist of multiple distinct races and I mention that both depictions of Klingons could co-exist within the Empire. But then another person comes along and, despite arguing that it’s “just a makeup change” says I’m wrong and that they are different races.

            Now the best bit is, when I made a mistake with the last Discovery episode, there was absolutely no problem for that other person to call me on it several times, but when I dared to point out that the comment made was opposite to what the person had been claiming all this time, and not even in a confrontational way, he blew his stack, accused me of lying and using falsehoods. The same persona even claimed that canonical explanations for things like the refit of the Enterprise were “BS” no matter what they said.

            So why am I the one who gets continually challenged for something as simple as preferring visual continuity? It doesn’t affect how anybody else enjoys the show and I am entitled to voice my point of view as much as anybody else and while that other person would ramp things up with insults and condescension until I converted to his way of thinking, I don’t expect anyone to change their stance. I will just reiterate my own stance when those other people refuse to allow me to have my own preference.

          • AmiRami

            What he said and what is true are not necessarily the same. If you watch any of the Shatner documentaries on post TOS trek its pretty clear Roddenberry didn’t want to let Trek go and rather it was ripped away from him.

          • Nowhereman10

            The context for that usually is different because of the time period in Roddenberry’s life they are made. The quotes I gave were from him later in life after he had chosen his successors for better or worse and was probably more resigned to letting others continue the franchise without him, especially with his failing health becoming an issue.

          • AmiRami

            Roddenberry actually had shockly little input with the movies post The Motion Picture. He famously hated Wrath of Khan as he felt it militarized StarFleet too much.

            Its funny to think of looking back but some of the best Trek we have ever had had absolutely nothing to do with Gene.

            Like George Lucas, Gene Roddenberry was a great idea person but lacked nuance when it came to execution.

          • Snap

            Yeah, that is definitely true.

            I enjoy TOS, not all of it but enough that I got the blu-rays, as well as TNG but it is all too clear that TNG made a significant improvement when Roddenberry was no longer involved on a day-to-day basis.

            But even the stuff I don’t enjoy has a place in the franchise

          • AmiRami

            Exactly. I mean lets all be real here for a sec. TNG season 1 was shockingly bad and Season 2, while it had a few gems like Measure of a Man, wasn’t much better. TNG really started to shine when Roddenberry got sick and Rick Berman replaced him as show runner

          • AmiRami

            But this is no longer Roddenberry Trek. Hasn’t been ever since DS9 came out.

        • Snap

          Yeah, it was early script ideas which were eventually revised, but the Bird of Prey designation stuck. Nonetheless, it does suit the Romulan naming better than Klingons, with their warbirds as opposed to a Klingon battlecruiser, but it has become so iconic that one is likely to think “Klingons” when hearing “Bird of Prey.”

      • AmiRami

        Hmmm.. was that meant to tie into the fact that originally Savvik was supposed to be 1/2 Romulan?

        • Snap

          I’m not sure, but I think even though it is never actually mentioned on screen, Saavik’s half-Romulan heritage still applies as there is a deleted line of dialogue following the Kobayashi Maru test which mentions it.

          The only thing which would bring that into question, though, is Robin Curtis has said that Leonard Nimoy wouldn’t let her display any trace of emotion when David was killed.

          • AmiRami

            huh cool. Thanks!

    • AmiRami

      Technically in the TOS timeline they should be Klingon D7 battle cruisers. But I don’t see why that would mean birds of prey can’t exist. Esp when you consider this is a sect of the Klingon Empire that is very old and disjointed from the rest.

  • Perplexum

    A lot of easter eggs. It remains to be seen if they leave it at that or if they will integrate the old Trek lore more. They mentioned Tellarites and Andorians several time now but they don’t show them (yet?).

    • SpaceCadet

      There was a photo posted here on TrekCore months before the series premiered that looked like a variation of Andorian antennae. I think they’ll make an appearance sooner than later.

  • Dwight Williams

    What of the holo-map generated when “Ripper” was locked into Starboard Engineering?